GARY VIKAN, DIRECTOR of the Walters Art Museum, is a specialist in Byzantine art. He lectures on topics such as icons, early Christian pilgrimages and Elvis. But he has embraced the modern era, publishing his own blog on the museum's Web site. Every Wednesday he discusses art and cultural issues, and welcomes comments from readers.
At the moment, he's preparing for a new exhibition at the museum: Deja Vu? Revealing Repetition in French Masterpieces, a show that opens next month exploring the significance of artistic repetition through the art of 11 celebrated 19th- and 20th-century French painters.
When not overseeing the activities of the Walters and blogging, he's teaching at the Johns Hopkins University. The father of two grown daughters, Vikan lives in Guilford with his wife, Elana, and two dogs, Pippy, a French bulldog, and Scooter, a Boston terrier.
A donor to endow permanently free admissions to the Walters
"Since the museum went free last year, we've had 56 percent more people visit. I'd like to find someone to give us money so that can continue forever."
A permit from Baltimore City for a kennel license
"I have two dogs, a Boston terrier and a French bulldog. And they provide no small comfort. ... I'd like to get a couple more of each, but I think the city has a limit unless you have a license."
Occasional access to someone's private jet
"I've been bumped from my last two flights to Europe right at the airport. ... It was no easy matter."
"I've been looking at my backyard for the last 22 years, thinking I should plant a tree. We did plant one tree, but it died."
A computer geek
"I want to get an avatar in Second Life, but I don't know how to do it. I want to build a museum in a second life, and I want someone to steer me in that direction."